Thursday, October 13, 2005

I, Radical (?!?)

People have a tendency to think that if someone disagrees with them on a hot-button issue, he'll probably disagree with them on most issues and is a radical of the opposing side. That's especially true when the person doing the assumptions is a radical himself, of the side opposite his opponent. At least that's been my experience.

A recent discussion I had here reminded me of this. It seems that since I am not impressed by the IAEA or because I support Israeli nukes, readers thought I'm a radical right-wing Bush-loving Sharon-worshipping kill-all-Arabs fanatic. That's so far from what my real views are that it's almost comical.

When discussing Israeli politics, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Bush, Iraq etc with right wingers they tend to brand me as a naive leftist bleeding-heart Palestinian/Muslim-loving extremist. Again, that too is so far from my real views that it's almost comical.

I'm very much a centrist. Maybe you could call me a hawkish dove or a dovish hawk. When people think I'm a right/left-wing fanatic, almost always they are fanatics of the opposite side. The question is whether I tend to take a more extreme stance than I believe in when I argue with fanatics, or maybe I just counter the radical views so I don't get a chance to say anything centrist. Also, the problem could be with the radicals and not with me. I don't know which option it is.

Remember this: just because I don't think the United States, Israel, and the West in general are the source of all evil - it doesn't mean I'm a radical right winger. Also, just because I support the creation of a Palestinian state and think Bush is the worst US president since who-knows-when - it doesn't mean I'm a radical left winger.

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